Beautiful. More than half a million people demonstrated against H.R. 4437 in Los Angeles recently. H.R. 4437, aka "The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005", is a sadly hysterical bigoted bill that makes small immigration offenses "federal crimes". And most shockingly, that applies to people who know of others who may not have 'legal' status. Thus non-governmental organizations and support groups become accessories to commiting federal crime. The US, above all, was and is built on the vibrant incessant motor of immigration, it is the essential heft of its being. Sadly bigotry and hatred is an ingrained crease on our human being, and politicians play brutally callous games, using fear of the "other" to win support as tough do'ers. Facist Germany knew this well, playing on anti-semitism to unify society using hysterical fear of the other.
Remember , remember always, that all of us... are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
For me, the current abuse of fear to gain favour with voters, both in the US and here in the UK, is a pathetically brutal tragedy. The human cost is hidden by flag waving and unfounded fear of alien invasion.
Alien: An American sovereign in his probationary state.
Immigration has been shown time and time again to be beneficial. Financially it hugely stimulates the economy; immigrants use less public funds and pay more tax. Western companies drop their costs drastically using 'illegal' labour and thus further stimulate the economy.
Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.
John F. Kennedy
Vastly more important for me (the clear economic advantages frankly disturb me; manipulation of human misfortune to further profit) are the cultural benefits. It is wonderful to live in a community where you can share human experience, no matter where it came from. It is challenging and rewarding to live amongst the huge diverse plethora of fellow humans. Music, food, art and experience all melt in the fermenting stew of our culture. My culture is partly Indian, Caribbean, African, Persian, Latin American, East European, Arab and Asian.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
I am happy to see current American immigrants organising and working to get their voice heard; a voice calling for humanity, compassion and fairness. I wish them all the best in their struggle.
Posted by Ian at March 26, 2006 08:48 PM | TrackBack
Here is not merely a nation, but a teeming nation of nations.